Not convincing

I got a question into the WaPo’s executive editor about the message parlors and I got a strange answer:

Rochester, NY: Obviously, you won’t take this question, but I’d like to ask: isn’t there a problem when the same reporters who were to be part of your health care “salon” are now essentially repeating insurance industry claims about the health care bill?

I’m referring specifically to Ceci Connolly. I write as a regular reader and fan of your paper — are you aware how much credibility you have lost as a result of the salons?

Marcus Brauchli: Actually, I will take this question, because it comes with a silly premise that needs knocking down.

First, there were no salon dinners. They were planned and they were canceled. Second, Ceci Connolly, who is an absolutely first-rate, independent-minded reporter, was simply asked who might be worth inviting to a roundtable discussion on healthcare. There is no reason she should be taken off of this story. Third, while we appreciate your visiting with us on this chat, you should read what we write. We have scrutinized the insurance industry’s claims about healthcare legislation extensively, including in a lengthy piece last week by Alec MacGillis. Finally, yes, I realize that the salon dinner episode was embarrassing and damaging to our credibility, but I would say to you: judge us by our journalism.

Which of my silly premises did he knock down? He admits Connolly was part of organizing the salons and that she now writes about health care, and he does nothing to prove that her article wasn’t about the AHIP study wasn’t a bit credulous.

Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?






155 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Marcus dropped the hammer on yer goofy ass.

  2. 2
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    Because they have gotten away with it for ages and because we still read their paper. I wait for Ezra, and Dana Priest and some others to deliberately go there, but I still read the WaPo and they know it.

  3. 3
    Stefan says:

    Finally, yes, I realize that the salon dinner episode was embarrassing and damaging to our credibility, but I would say to you: judge us by our journalism.

    I’m not sure that’s really the standard the Post wants to use…..

  4. 4
    4tehlulz says:

    THERE WERE NO SALONS because we got caught THEREFORE THERE IS NO PROBLEM NOW EAT THIS SHIT SANDWICH

  5. 5
    flounder says:

    I wonder if he is familiar with the term “lying by omission” because Brauchli admits he lied by omission and then goes on to say that the charge that he a liar is “absurd”.

    Philly, Pa.: If you know a reporter has reported something about you which is inaccurate, are you not obligated to publicly correct the record?
    I’m sorry, sir, but I lost all respect for you after reading the letter you sent to your former colleague. You knew that it was reported that you claimed to have no knowledge of the off-the-record promises, and you chose to allow that to stand. You scapegoated an employee, and misled the public. Of course, that version is being generous, and its every bit as likely that you just lied to the NYT’s reporter, hoping not to get caught.
    You lied to your readers. You lied to your employees.
    I hope your retirement is happy and fruitful, and I hope it starts very soon.
    Marcus Brauchli: When these events were planned, we intended that the information from them would inform and shape our coverage, without attribution. That is not, under our rules, off the record.
    They were later promoted as “off the record,” and I knew that before July 2.
    As I have said repeatedly since then, I failed to reconcile the language and the intentions, which I should have done.
    The notion that I lied to the New York Times “hoping not to get caught” is absurd.

  6. 6
    aimai says:

    Because Fuck you, peasant, that’s why.

    Brauchli obviously doesn’t know who he’s dealing with since you can destroy him in a second with a single flaming blog post. Or not.

    Not to drag personal stuff into it but this is, essentially, the nub of my argument with Klein, isn’t it? I mean, you point out to them just how bad their *&^% actual journalism is and they say “but…judge us on our journalism!” Uh, didn’t I just tell you I was reading your shit for years? No, no! It must be some other Joe Klein/Ceci Connelly, you’ve been reading–or maybe just the wiki! That’s the ticket.

    aimai

  7. 7
    LorenzoStDuBois says:

    Eh, at least he took the question. From his perspective I don’t know why he wouldn’t have gone with a more watered down question.

    From a PR perspective, any moderated forum like this is simply a way to say what you wanted to say anyway while using other people’s time to pretend you’re involved in some kind of off-the-cuff candid engagement.

    I’m always fascinated when a moderator lets questions like this slip through. Where is the upside for them?

  8. 8
    Rhoda says:

    There is no defense. And basically, he’s saying fuck you for even calling his attention to this issue.

    Journalism is going to survive on the pro-publica model IMO and cable is going to go partisan as folks try to make money off the FOX model. You see folks like Politico going down that route. And HuffingtonPost as well.

  9. 9
    Roger Moore says:

    Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    They can’t offer a substantive defense in this case because their actions are essentially indefensible. All they can do is puff themselves up and complain that your critique is unjustified.

  10. 10
    Rathskeller says:

    As journalism moved steadily from a guttersnipe profession into a career that Ivy-league educated folks very much wanted to enter, they acquired more and more of the attitude of the establishment. They talk and work and joke with the rich and powerful, and their attitudes of entitlement rub off on them.

  11. 11
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    As America’s Prospective Next Great Pundit, I have to note that that was kind of a smack-down DougJ. Now we will use Arithmetic and Logic, as we should trust none of these self-interested policy advocates, but should rather rely on our senses, and our analysis.

    Here we go:

    You cannot extend government coverage to more needy people without raising cost, or rationing care.

  12. 12
    Patrick says:

    The silly premise is, “if a lobbyist paid five to six figures to talk with our reporter, that that reporter would listen”

    He really shot it down…er…didn’t address it.

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    Which of my silly premises did he knock down?

    He knocked down your premises by calling them silly. QED.

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    judge us by our journalism

    I wasn’t going to be nearly that harsh to them, but if they insist…so be it.

  15. 15
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”?

    Dougie Doug — pretty much any talking head with an agenda responds the same way. Some folks have that agenda dictated by their corporate sponsors and some folks decide on it for themselves. But belligerence in political discourse is the default position in America.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    Do I come to your place of business and knock the cock out of your mouth, DougJ? The WaPo whored itself out, but that’s no reason to call them a pack of whores. Besides, there’s money to be made, and newspapers aren’t non-profit.

    Who cares why they don’t want to defend their shoddy business practices or try and shore up their declining credibility? Would you prefer they offer you substantive and detailed critiques explaining exactly why putting up industry shills as non-partisan experts is within their ethical boundaries? Would the shit sandwich taste any better served on fine china with a sprig of parsley on the side?

    I don’t know what you want, DougJ. They’ve stepped hip deep in the shit, and you want them to tell you it smells good? At this point, everyone knows the Emperor ain’t got no clothes. All he’s got left to say is “Fuck you, peasants”.

  17. 17
    DanF says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    You cannot extend government coverage to more needy people without raising cost, or rationing care.*

    *Assuming current health care costs are at optimal efficiency. Which, of course, they aren’t. They aren’t even close. They are so far from being optimal, that they can’t even see optimal. They are so bad, somebody must step in. Perhaps the government. Brick Oven Bill can continue to purchase his own insurance.

  18. 18
    TR says:

    Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    Because they have none?

    I find it hysterical that the WaPo folks imagine that if there were a Venn diagram of their loyal readers and the filthy heathen of the internet, that there would be zero overlap between the two groups.

    I read both, Marcus, and one of them isn’t worth reading anymore. Good luck with your next round of downsizing, asshole.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”?

    Answered your own question, didn’t you?

  20. 20
    Pangloss says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”?

    One of my favorites of all time in this category was Jon King’s response to a Glenn Greenwald post. High-larious reading…

  21. 21
    Bulworth says:

    “Second, Ceci Connolly, who is an absolutely first-rate, independent-minded reporter…”

    Obviously you neglected to preface your question to the Wash Post with a worshipful acknowledgement of how first-rate and great is the independent mindedness of the absolutely first-rate and independent-minded reporter, Ceci Connolly.

    I’d be interested in knowing what accomplishments lend themselves to the title of Absolutely First-Rate, Independent-Minded Reporter.

  22. 22
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    *Assuming current health care costs are at optimal efficiency. Which, of course, they aren’t. They aren’t even close. They are so far from being optimal, that they can’t even see optimal. They are so bad, somebody must step in. Perhaps the government.**

    ** This assumes that the government offers efficiencies, which is a gross conceptual error. A far better solution would be to allow people to purchase insurance policies from a State of their choice, and free the Individual from unwanted insurance mandates, imposed upon him by interests lobbying his particular state legislature. Another solution would be to limit medical malpractice damages to something like $200,000.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    You cannot extend government coverage to more needy people without raising cost, or rationing care.

    Costs are being raised and care rationed anyway by insurance executives, BOB. You should know this already.

    Next?

  24. 24
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I guess asterisks are some html code for bold text.

  25. 25
    Pangloss says:

    Sarah Palin has a degree in Journalism. Jus’ sayin’.

  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    A far better solution would be to allow people to purchase insurance policies from a State of their choice, and free the Individual from unwanted insurance mandates, imposed upon him by interests lobbying his particular state legislature.

    Therefore if all 50 states legislatures are bribed by the insurance companies to write bad legislation, you’re SOL.

    Another solution would be to limit medical malpractice damages to something like $200,000.

    So for $200,001, we can have doctors legally bump off people we don’t like?

    Hmmm…..

  27. 27
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Doug: You and I have obviously been reading the comPost’s chat times for the better part of a decade. The reaction of those clowns is *always* the same. Lois Romano was a master of it oh, 3-4 years ago until people started blogging about it and lo and behold, those questions don’t get passed along anymore.

    These people are scared shitless. They’re scared of losing their livelihoods because they’re afraid that if they piss off anymore of the right, the already crappy subscription rates will drop off a cliff.

    They. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    The best reporters at the comPost are the Sports guys. They don’t act like the wanktastic, whipped, political section.

  28. 28
    Xanthippas says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    Well, I’d say you’re doing something right when you provoke that sort of tone in response.

  29. 29
    Tony J says:

    I’m always fascinated when a moderator lets questions like this slip through. Where is the upside for them?

    Because now that he’s ‘answered’ all of the difficult questions, the WaPo doesn’t have to revisit the topic ever again. We refer you to our previous statements on the matter. Case closed, nothing to see here.

  30. 30
    Maude says:

    Hold the phone. This guy states that there were no salon dinners. He then at end of para states that the salon dinner episodes were embarrassing. WTF?
    The condescending fool. He was trying to intimidate you DougJ and also make OMG, an example out of you for the rest of the peons.

  31. 31
    JM says:

    You cannot extend government coverage to more needy people without raising cost, or rationing care.

    Meanwhile costs are rising and healthcare is being rationed and much of the rest of the world does it better for less.

    Idiot.

    The reason BOB thinks Americans are too stupid to replicate the success of the rest of the civilized world is because he assumes we’re all as dumb as he is.

  32. 32
    Guster says:

    DougJ:

    This is the third Google result for “Ceci Connolly”: http://openleft.com/diary/1395.....s-reporter

    And do I remember correctly, that she pulled some ugly shit with Gore?

  33. 33
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Under my plan, States would be incentivized to offer competitive and efficient health care policies. The average person has no desire to be covered for sex change operations, mental health counseling, or cosmetic surgery.

    The average person wants coverage in the instance that they get cancer, or have a heart attack.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    The average person has no desire to be covered for sex change operations, mental health counseling, or cosmetic surgery.

    One out of three is actually fairly impressive for BOB.

  35. 35
    JM says:

    This assumes that the government offers efficiencies, which is a gross conceptual error.

    The fact that BOB doesn’t know that American private healthcare has higher administrative costs than American public healthcare (and public systems overseas) is a gross factual ignorance.

  36. 36
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    JM most definitely has the Obama Hope poster on his wall. Health care is non-existent in Kenya. They do not even have running water.

  37. 37
    Guster says:

    Also, this is absolutely first rate:

    The Post’s Ceci Connolly, who covered Gore campaign for eighteen months and made the error, today insists that her miscue “did not change the context” of Gore’s original statement. She contends that the key quote, the one that catches Gore embellishing, was the quote “I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal.” Yet clearly from his response, Gore used the term “found” in reference to “looking around the country for other sites like” Toone, and in no way suggested he uncovered the Love Canal toxic-waste disaster.
    Thanks to the high-profile misquote, though, the media’s echo chamber erupted, with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews mocking Gore for being delusional, while ABC’s George Stephanopoulos lamented that the vice president had “revealed his Pinocchio problem.” (In a press release, the ever-helpful Republican National Committee cleaned up the mangled quote, changing “that” to “who” in order to make the misquote grammatically correct: “I was the one who started it all.”)

    http://www.rollingstone.com/ne.....vs_al_gore

    Connolly was one of the reporters who botched Gore’s Love Canal quote more than once. In her first dispatch on the matter, she used the twisted quote to mock Gore for dissembling about his record, a theme she had been hammering for months. In her follow-up story the next day, she printed it again, jeering, “The man who mistakenly claimed to have inspired the movie Love Story and to have invented the Internet says he didn’t quite mean to say he discovered a toxic-waste site.”
    Incredibly, none of the three examples Connolly offered to highlight Gore’s compulsion for exaggerating were based on fact. Eleven months later, and just three weeks before Election Day, the Post returned to the topic of Love Canal, reporting how Gore’s “clumsy” statements “suggesting he discovered the Love Canal disaster” had made him an easy target for ridicule.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    JM says:

    JM most definitely has the Obama Hope poster on his wall.

    I show that BOB doesn’t know what he’s talking about on several counts in a mere two posts and he melts into a whiny little bitch.

    I’m sure everyone is as surprised as I am.

  40. 40
    Cassidy says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: What about diabetes?! You wouldn’t cover Wilford Brimley?

  41. 41
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Perhaps JM’s poster says Change.

  42. 42
    JM says:

    Perhaps JM’s poster says Change.

    Would you like me to read it for you? You seem to be having difficulty with … well, everything.

  43. 43
    Guster says:

    Adding, I’d love to see a website that lists journalists along with the context of their crappy reporting in the past, so I know without Googling how little I should trust them.

  44. 44
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I would select an insurance policy that does not include diabetes Cassidy, as I am not a disgusting fat fuck like Wilfred Brimley, and am unlikely to become a diabetic.

  45. 45
    Zifnab says:

    @JM: We’ve replaced BoB with a petulant 8-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Let’s see if JM notices.

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    I would select an insurance policy that does not include diabetes

    And if you have it, you’re fucked.

    Oh well. Invisible middle finger of the free market and all that.

  47. 47
    AnotherBruce says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    Because it’s their turf and they always have the last word in these Q&A columns.

  48. 48

    Shorter M.B.: We control the picture. We control the sound.

  49. 49
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: BoB would also not have any kids, for risk of them suffering Type I diabetes or children’s leukemia or fatass baby syndrome or muscular dystrophy or (insert endless list of childhood illnesses here).

    And at the age of 65, he’s going to blow his brains out, lets he contract Alzheimers. Because he’s not going to indulge in that socialist Medicare bullshit, no sir!

  50. 50
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    If you choose to become a disgusting fat fuck like Wilfred Brimley, you should either pay for your own god-damned Liberty Medical packages, delivered free to your residence where you watch TV and eat Cheetos, or just die.

  51. 51
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    edit delete redundant

  52. 52
    JM says:

    We’ve replaced BoB with a petulant 8-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.

    Is that your idea of an ontological paradox? If it weren’t for 8-year-old tantrums, there’d be no conservatives.

  53. 53
    Zifnab says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: BoB would also not have any kids, for risk of them suffering Type I diabetes or children’s leukemia or fatass baby syndrome or muscular dystrophy or (insert endless list of childhood illnesses here).

    And at the age of 65, he’s going to blow his brains out, lets he contract Alzheimers. Because he’s not going to indulge in that soci alist Medicare bullshit, no sir!

  54. 54
    The Moar You Know says:

    disgusting fat fuck like Wilfred Brimley

    @Brick Oven Bill: Well, you just won some points in my book. You may be a misogynistic, racist raving loon, but there is no doubt that Wilford Brimley is, in fact, a disgusting fat fuck.

    He’s also pro-animal abuse.

  55. 55
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    edit delete redundant

    Is this how the end of the BOB era begins?

  56. 56
    NickM says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”?

    Because that’s the whole point of being the ruling class.

  57. 57
    Gozer says:

    judge us by our journalism

    I love how they pull the Ole’ Substantive™ out of their asses when confronted with criticism while focusing on nothing but bullshit process in their coverage. And then when you confront them with this little fact they whine about how covering policy is haaaaard.

  58. 58
    MattF says:

    The WaPo has a logic problem– They accept inference (A) Professionalism => Credibility, but don’t understand that the contrapositive, inference (B), (not-Credibility) => (not-Professionalism) is also, necessarily, a valid inference if you accept (A).

  59. 59
    GReynoldsCT00 says:

    “The average person has no desire to be covered for…mental health counseling…”

    Well that would explain your problem, you have no clue whyat you need. Care to say to call someone a disgusting fat fuck on more time?

  60. 60
    JM says:

    Is this how the end of the BOB era begins?

    Considering that BOB can’t count, how would he know? He’s trapped in a perpetual instant of suck.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Therefore if all 50 states legislatures are one state legislature is bribed by the insurance companies to write bad legislation, all the insurance companies will move there and you’re SOL.

    Fixed that for you.

  62. 62
    Citizen_X says:

    Wow. Wilfred Brimley is on the Wingnut enemies list. Who knew?

  63. 63
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    The average person has no desire to be covered for sex change operations, mental health counseling, or cosmetic surgery.

    I love the conflation of sex change operations with mental health counseling and plastic surgery. Even if you dismiss sex change operations as a whim of the sexually perverse, which apparently you do, coverage for the latter two is desired by average persons more than you think. In particular, plastic surgery is not solely the province of those who wish to look hotter or younger. Blepharoplasty, for example:

    The surgery can also treat a medical condition called ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision.

  64. 64
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Winner of the Nobel Prize for Irrelevant Response. You could try a factual counter argument, you know.

  65. 65
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    If someone wants a sex change operation, or to make their eyelid less droopy, here is what they should do:

    Here we go:

    They should pay for it themselves or group themselves in an insurance risk-pool that includes people who want sex change operations and perky eyelids.

  66. 66
    Zach says:

    The Washington Post did have a couple good pieces debunking the AHIP report with responses from various neutral parties and supporters of reform. They came one or more days after Connely’s piece, though; only after the Village consensus formed that the AHIP report was bad strategy. I think Ceci wrote at least one of them.

    Defending the original article is absurd. It repeated the bullet points from the press release and had all of two quotes from Democrats or other advocates who hadn’t seen the report. You don’t have an A1 article about a press release. There was literally no reporting beyond calling two people for a quick response.

  67. 67
    kid bitzer says:

    their response to criticism is personality-driven rather than substantive…

    because *everything* they do is personality-driven rather than substantive.

    after all, that’s their approach to politics, to foreign affairs, to health-care reform, to climate-change–to any topic they are supposed to cover. it’s always a horse-race, a pissing-match, or a score-settling. no numbers (except maybe poll numbers), no actual analysis; just personalities.

    aside from a few of the young kids–e.g. ezra–they are just too stupid and lazy to follow actual policy. it’s complicated and hard. and because they are essentially mean girls with a somewhat bigger high-school newspaper, what they care about is personality.

    given all that, you expected them to offer substance when you attack them?

    they’ve got no substance–it’s just not in their personality.

  68. 68
    tc125231 says:

    You know, back in the 1980s or at least some time in the distant past –WaPo was a newspaper.

    Now it’s just a particularly poor grade of toilet paper.

  69. 69
    catclub says:

    So did anyone read the article by McGillis? Was it any good?

  70. 70
    tc125231 says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Billy boy –you have GOT to lay off those codein based pills. They’re not good for you.

  71. 71
    mistersnrub says:

    Shut up, that’s why! Also, you are shrill. Pwned.

  72. 72
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Guster: A blog like that titled “Fuck You, Peasant” would be just about perfection.

    D

  73. 73
    Michael says:

    In the news today, enema nozzle Karl Rove (redundant, I know) is trying to spread a lie that Obama is deliberately destabilizing Afghanistan for some nefarious purpose.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....5905/posts

    Take a look at what this administration has done. They have destabilized the Afghan government by saying you know what we’re not certain that Karzai is a good partner for us.

    And the Obama administration sent in James Carville, Democrat party operative, in order to handle the campaign of Karzai’s opponent. And then they express surprise when Karzai is trying to cut side deals with the remaining warlords and regional powers in Afghanistan in order to make certain he has a power base if the Americans pull the rug out from underneath him.

    I mean its really unusual that this administration is so quick to criticize the Bush administration when they are really destabilizing the regime in Afghanistan in a fundamental way.

    More delegitimization.

  74. 74
    JM says:

    You could try a factual counter argument, you know.

    BOB tried that, only to burst into the flames of self-pwnership.

    Good times.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    DougJ, have you considered emailing your credentials? That would certainly garner respect.

  76. 76
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Perky eyelids:

    ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision.

    Perhaps your eyelids are insufficiently perky to enable you to read. This is a medical condition that causes blocked vision. Most if not all insurance companies will pay for blepharoplasty as a medical necessity while denying coverage for vanity plastic surgery. Imagine, insurance companies are more understanding of patients’ medical needs than BOBill. This kind of distinction appears to be lost on you; sweeping generalization is so much easier than thinking about what you’re saying.

  77. 77
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    DougJ, have you considered emailing your credentials credenzas?

    Fixed.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chad N Freude: I’ve already told you, no matter how effective the credenzas would be, it is too effing difficult to get them into the scanner. Maybe I need a new scanner.

  79. 79
    Sly says:

    OT: Newseek is set to publish a piece critical of Fox News. Title? The O’Garbage Factor.

    My prediction: O’Reilly will send his “producer” on a stalking mission after Weisberg, confronting him about some nonsense when he opens his front door to get the mail or coming out of his car on the way to do some grocery shopping. It’s been the guys MO for the past decade.

    Maybe Tweedledee and Tweedledum of Fox and Friends will put up humorous alterations of Weisberg’s photo with a comically enlarged nose and dark, beady eyes, like they did with Jacques Steinberg and Steven Reddicliffe after the NYT published a similarly critical piece last year. Because, after all, some people didn’t get the memo that when you say “Liberal Media” you’re not actually supposed to mean “Jew Media”, even though the two terms are historically linked.

  80. 80
    Tsulagi says:

    @Cassidy: Yeah, that was funny. Readily apparent that while Palin may prompt spontaneous starbursts from some teabaggers, Rush does it for others. He puts the yang into their wang.

    Yep, this past Sunday “countless” teabaggers sat weeping, remote controls shaking in hand, turning off their teevees in a show of solidarity with Rush the victim. The NFL is now doomed. Scalpers will be trying to unload Super Bowl tickets at two for a buck.

    Rush Limbaugh has attracted many male listeners over the years because of his…unapologetic manly attitude.

    Got that right, American Thinker. Nothing scores an 11 on the Teabagger Manly Man scale quite like a short lard ass Oxy popping bloviator prone to being stopped at Customs with a baggie of blue pills after Dominican Republic escapades with the boys.

  81. 81
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Dude, you have to get the terminology right.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tsulagi: I really don’t know where these guys get their conception of manliness.

  83. 83
    Singularity says:

    Or, we could do what a majority of Americans want and provide comprehensive coverage via national healthcare reform including a public option.

    And your argument that we should let people purchase their insurance from the state of their choice is refuted by the example of the credit card industry. Every insurer would move their operations to the state that allowed them to screw their customers the most, and there would be a huge increase in insurance industry campaign dollars to the legislators of that state. Look to Delaware and South Dakota as examples.

    And the medical malpractice argument is specious as well. Here is a study showing that tort reform does not lead to a reduction in insurance rates. So even if tort reform does lead to a reduction in costs to the insurance industry, what good does that do for the average consumer?

    Finally, if we based the concept of insurance on what each individual expected to utilize, the entire insurance structure would fail. No one expects to have to use every service that is covered in every plan. I imagine that if you were to have a disfiguring accident you would be very happy to have coverage for cosmetic surgery. Stop being such a self-involved prick (in other words, a conservative) and try to be a little empathetic.

  84. 84
    Ann says:

    DougJ – my response to the first of Connolly’s articles — the one that ran above the fold on October 12 — is slightly different then yours. I thought Connolly’s article was reasonably balanced. What shocked me was the placement of the article and its headline (decisions I assume were made by editorial staff): “New Bill Would Raise Rates, Says Insurance Group”. I see no difference between that and a headline that reads, “Crazy Man at Corner Says World Ends Tomorrow” Yes, both things may have indeed been said. But that hardly means that you lead the morning paper with said quote. I fault the editors more than I do the reporter for this one. But I agree with you that the the Post was overly credulous about the insurance industry report — and wonder why that was the case.

  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chad N Freude: And if I don’t? The helicopters will joke about me? I don’t think so.

  86. 86
    Singularity says:

    Hrmm, must type faster. the above was a response to BOB @ 65.

  87. 87
    IndieTarheel says:

    @Zifnab:

    @JM: We’ve replaced BoB with a petulant 8-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Let’s see if JM notices.

    I object; both the tone and the rationality of the posts clearly indicate that it was in fact a 6-year-old that was substituted.

  88. 88
    QrazyQat says:

    Why do they respond that way? How else can they, given what they do? Their only honest response would be “yes, it’s wrong, and we plan on doing the same sort of thing over and over in the future just as we have in the past”.

  89. 89
    Keith G says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    You cannot extend government coverage to more needy people without raising cost, or rationing care.

    That is what is happening now, and that is what will be happening after even the best reform. The issue is “Where is the best social benefit?” Some taxes will be raised and some care will (continue to) be rationed – and more Americans will gain the benefits inherent in timely medical care.

    What’s your deal?

  90. 90
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Tsulagi:

    Yep, this past Sunday “countless” teabaggers sat weeping, remote controls shaking in hand, turning off their teevees in a show of solidarity with Rush the victim. The NFL is now doomed. Scalpers will be trying to unload Super Bowl tickets at two for a buck.

    Indeed. The Dittoheads succeeded so hard at their boycott this past Sunday that the evening NFL overrun on CBS gained 100,000 viewers.

    Sunday, October 18

    Sunday, October 11th

    This is excellent news for John McCain Rush Limbaugh!

    D

  91. 91
    DougJ says:

    DougJ, have you considered emailing your credentials?

    I haven’t scanned them in yet.

  92. 92
    Demo Woman says:

    Doug, You might want to read this article at Media Matter’s country Fair.
    They are highlighting the answer to your question.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    Thanks so much for doing this. I think they should have to defend Ceci Connelly.

  94. 94
    kay says:

    @Demo Woman:

    Oh, yay! See? It’s taking off. The Ceci Connelly issue. :)

  95. 95
    Tony J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I really don’t know where these guys get their conception of manliness.

    Chuck Norris doesn’t have a conception of his manliness, because manliness is but a conception of Chuck Norris.

  96. 96
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    I will attempt to explain this in a method that will not get me in trouble. Keith G asks:

    “Where is the best social benefit?”

    The best social benefit is to keep those actively participating in the economy healthy. This is effectively happening now. But, similar to the NFL, there are racial elements to economic activity. The median black family makes 60% of the income that the median white family makes, therefore, given the progressive tax system, blacks pay very little income tax.

    Obama is on record stating that reparations for slavery would not go far enough. This is similar to his father’s opinion in that government can theoretically raise taxes on Europeans and Asians to 100%, and transfer the wealth from producers to black people. Here is daddy’s paper.

    The President is a deeply insecure man, based upon being dumped by two fathers, and even his mother, who was confused because her father rejected her due to her gender, naming her ‘Stanley’.

    The President’s plan is based in racism, and insecurity. He is a bitter man. In contrast, the best social benefit is to allow people to select insurance coverage from the State of their choice. This will increase competition, and lower costs.

  97. 97
    Demo Woman says:

    @kay: Doug is going to be famous! Hope he starts scanning his credenza.

  98. 98
    Guster says:

    @daryljfontaine: I’m going to start that! We’ll pretend that FYP stands for ‘For Your Perusal,’ or something …

  99. 99
    Third Eye Open says:

    Awww, look, BOB is jealous that Gass-bag is getting all the attention. It’s so cute when he runs in circles and yells non-sense out the window.

    BOB, boobelah, you were out-spoofed, fair-n-square. So sorry, but you need to practice-practice-practice, and then come back when you’re a little older … or funnier.

    Ciao, kitten.

  100. 100
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    The President is a deeply insecure man, based upon being dumped by two fathers, and even his mother, who was confused because her father rejected her due to her gender, naming her ‘Stanley’.

    Diagnosis from a distance without ever seeing the patient. The Bill Frist School of Medicine.

  101. 101
    JenJen says:

    I’ve been staring at and re-reading that answer for a few minutes now; they are absolutely saying “fuck you, peasant.”

    It’s kind of mindblowing. The only saving grace is that I hope Marcus Brauchli is as vain as I suspect, and has found this post of yours, DougJ.

  102. 102
    Chad N Freude says:

    Can anyone pinpoint the moment when insurance stopped being a pooling of risk and became a risk avoidance mechanism?

  103. 103
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Another solution would be to limit medical malpractice damages to something like $200,000.

    No.

  104. 104
    Jon O. says:

    “Judge us by our journalism” is a pretty interesting defense, given that the premise of your argument was indicting the integrity of their journalism.

    But, on the other hand, fuck you, that’s why. Go get your own newspaper! Also.

  105. 105
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    the best social benefit is to allow people to select insurance coverage from the State of their choice. This will increase competition, and lower costs.

    The increased competition will be among states vying to attract insurance companies to locate in them by offering minimal regulation. This is what happened with the credit card industry, and there is no reason to think health insurance would be any different.

    But that has been said many times on this blog, and BOBill chooses not to acknowledge or address it.

  106. 106
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Link

    New Study Finds Medical Malpractice Insurance Premiums have Minimal Effect on Health Care Costs

    ______________________

    “Six years ago, voters approved a proposition to end a “malpractice crisis” that was driving up liability premiums and pushing some doctors to give up their practice.

    The key provision put a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.

    Healthcare spending has grown faster in Texas than the rest of the country. Patients are paying more for health insurance and medical bills. Doctors do more tests and scans, an indication that so-called defensive medicine hasn’t declined here.”

  107. 107
    slippy says:

    @Jon O.: The national media have already been weighed, measured, and found desperately wanting.

    They are worthless. I don’t read the WAPo. I don’t read the NYT. I don’t watch ANY network news program. I don’t subscribe to ANY newspaper.

    I am far more informed on the issues of the day than people who rely on those sources for their news.

    The tradmed is going down the tubes so fast they are screaming but nobody can hear them. In another generation, the industries themselves will be gone.

  108. 108
    Mike in NC says:

    Newseek is set to publish a piece critical of Fox News.

    The last issue of Atlantic Monthly had a good piece by Mark Bowden (author of Black Hawk Down) on how it has come to pass that the lazy, cost-cutting, herd-mentality MSM now regards people like Sean Hannity as serious “journalists” to be uncritcially listened to. Read it and weep.

  109. 109
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Diagnosis from a distance without ever seeing the patient. The Bill Frist School of Medicine.

    Well Chad, you have to admit that only someone who was really insecure would run for president.

  110. 110
    Steeplejack says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    edit delete redundant

    Well, that covers all of your posts, BOB, although purists would probably add “offensive.” If you would just use that it would save everyone a lot of pie.

  111. 111
    Makewi says:

    Is the part where he admits to her being a salon organizer not in the piece you quoted?

  112. 112
    slippy says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: You know, rather than wonder about the social benefit, let’s examine health insurance with some criteria in mind:

    The goal of health care is to care for the health of the patient.

    We assume that it is in the best interests of the nation that as many of us are as healthy as is possible. We are told that the system for doing this is (as always dictated by free-market droids) a free-market system unconstrained by any mere governmental regulations. A faceless bureaucracy will interfere with our healthcare quality and cost, and make things worse.

    Therefore we ask, if the free market is so fantastically great at taking care of our health, how could we measure this? By all available measures, the free market is failing.

    To the consumer, the free-market health insurance system adds no value to the transaction between the patient and the doctor. Yet the industry stands foursquare in between the two, yelling STOP! whenever the doctor makes a diagnosis. And if it can’t yell STOP it just stops covering the patient. Problem solved.

    This is a faceless bureacracy interfering with our healthcare.

    It must be dismantled. Ergo, the only way to fix it is to remove the position of “denier” of care. And it’s easy enough to do: create a large enough pool of patients, everybody in, nobody out, that is constrained by its very mission statement from denying anyone’s claims and does not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.

    Oddly enough, this system is so large and revolutionary, it has to be funded by the government. Ergo, single payer is the only way to really fix the problem.

    Quod erat demonstrandum, dissolve the insurance industry and replace it with a single-payer healthcare plan.

  113. 113
    Steeplejack says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Heh. Great minds, etc.

  114. 114
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    But, similar to the NFL, there are racial elements to economic activity. The median black family makes 60% of the income that the median white family makes, therefore, given the progressive tax system, blacks pay very little income tax.

    Well, it would only take a matter of time before BOB went back down the race hole.

    Question: if poor people pay very little income tax regardless of race, why is that a problem?

  115. 115
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I gotta say, DougJ, you’re kinda cute in your hopeful desire to get a response other than “Fuck you, peasant.” They really have nothing of substance to say because they’re going to keep doing what they’re doing. I am actually surprised he took the question, only to answer it so poorly.

  116. 116
    freelancer says:

    @JenJen:

    It’s kind of mindblowing. The only saving grace is that I hope Marcus Brauchli is as vain as I suspect, and has found this post of yours, DougJ.

    There’s a decent chance of that as MM has just picked this part of the chat up and is sprinting with it.

  117. 117
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    The goal of health care should be to care for the health of the nation slippy. From the health of the nation comes the health of the individual. Let us look back to the Greeks.

    The Sophists argued that there was no absolute truth, Socrates argued the opposite, that there was truth. Plato continued and presented to us his four absolutes for our use:

    1. There is certainty.
    2. Mathematics gives us the power of perception.
    3. Though the physical applications of mathematics may change, the thoughts themselves are eternal and are in another realm of existence.
    4. Mathematics is thought and, therefore, it is eternal and can be known by anyone.

    Al Sharpton expands further:

    “White folks was in caves while we was building empires…. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

    Somebody needs to tell Al that the Greeks studied Astronomy, not astrology. But Al does a good job illustrating James Madison’s argument in Federalist 10:

    “As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.”

    The President’s agenda specifically targets the faculties of the nation’s productive men, and is therefore counter to the interests of the nation. A better solution is to allow interstate competition, and limit malpractice awards.

  118. 118
    tc125231 says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: @arguingwithsignposts: Pay no ateention to BOB. Hebelieves, like all good members of the wingnuttery, that he is entitled to make up his own facts, and the current BOB incarnation is clearly also addicted to something that causes hallucinations.

    So what’s to argue with? I am not saying BOB’s a moron –I am saying that for complex sociological and biochemical reasons, he can mostly be relied upon to talk like a moron.

  119. 119
    freelancer says:

    late to the party, again, I see.

  120. 120
    freelancer says:

    @DougJ:

    You have certs? I needz a few. Gimme ur certs.

  121. 121
    Ecks says:

    Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    To be fair (I know, it’s a weird compulsion) you didn’t offer a substantive attack either. The exchange basically went:

    You: “She’s a hack”
    Him: “No she’s not”
    You: “Waaa! Where’s a substantive defense.”

    If you’d gone in with stats, or summary sources showing that she takes a pro-insurance co’s slant on her analysis, examples of her misunderstanding people, having a poor grip on the issue, uncritically citing industry numbers and being critical of everyone elses… (and I’m sure all of these things exist in spades), it would have been hard to boil it into a short question, yes, but it would have been a question that demanded a substantive response.

    Meaning he probably wouldn’t have answered it at all. But at least you’d be in a better position to bitch about it afterwards.

  122. 122
    Calouste says:

    In other news:

    The New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs, or 8 percent, by year’s end

    No news on whether there are any plans to cut overpaid right wing shills who are just phoning it in from the comment columns. Probably not.

  123. 123
    Makewi says:

    Therefore we ask, if the free market is so fantastically great at taking care of our health, how could we measure this? By all available measures, the free market is failing.

    Which available measures are you using to make this diagnosis?

  124. 124
    Church Lady says:

    What the hell kind of response did you expect to get? Were you thinking that he’d thank you for your insigtful question and agree with you that one of the Post’s reporters’ credibility was compromised by an event that never happened?

    He gave you more of a response than you expected (or probably deserved), since you never expected the question to be addressed at all. It just was not one that made you happy (i.e., agreeing with you). From a business standpoint, his best response was, in fact, “fuck you, peasant.”

    If you don’t like it, quit reading the Post.

  125. 125
    LanceThruster says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”?

    Because, “Shut up!”, that’s why.

    Ipse dixit!

  126. 126
    slippy says:

    @Makewi: OK, (speaks in the tone of voice one must use on a four-year-old), let’s start with the number of Americans who can’t get health insurance: 47 million. In all valid comparisons of funcitoning healthcare systems, the only people who can’t get health insurance are the ones who refuse to buy it. This is not the case in our system.

    Let’s talk about deaths: 45,000 per year, is it not? People who have no access to healthcare and did not have a condition that was beyond the reach of medicine and therefore died. That’s a measure, isn’t it? It’s like 9/11 happening EVERY FUCKING WEEK, isn’t it?

    Are you deaf? Are you blind? Are you illiterate? The statistics are broadcast far and wide on a DAILY basis and you are stumbling around on a site on which those measures are READILY AVAILABLE. Attempting to start a dispute on this topic when all of that data is literally shouting in your face makes you look like a STUPID ASSHOLE, Makewi.

  127. 127
    DougJ says:

    If you don’t like it, quit reading the Post.

    You know what the logical response is here, right?

  128. 128
    James says:

    Thing is, see, Connelly was on the GUEST LIST of the first “Salon”:

    “Washington Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, health care reporter Ceci Connolly and I are hosting what we hope will be a lively, sophisticated, civil and useful conversation about health care reform with a small group of people who really know the subject,” Weymouth wrote Cooper. “As one of the leaders of that debate, your participation would be particularly valuable, and I hope very much that you will be able to join us.”

    He didn’t mention that either, did he?
    No bar on ‘salons’ in W.H. ethics rules – Politico.com Print View

  129. 129
    calipygian says:

    I cancelled my subscription to the WaPo today. I specifically cited four things:

    1) The salons, which would cause calls for a blogger ethics panel if it happened in the Shrill-o-sphere,

    2) The fact that they still employ Anne Applebaum, who wrote several blog posts defending child ass-rape, while failing to disclose that her husband is a member of the Polish Foreign Service assigned to the Roman Polanski case,

    3) The fact that the Op-Ed page doesn’t get the fact checking that a junior high paper gets, and

    4) Chuck Krauthammer is fucking insane.

    Think I’ll use that 20 bucks a month I was spending on a Kindle subscription for something with enduring value and more intellectual heft, like a subscription to an internet pr0n site.

  130. 130
    ice9 says:

    I think BoBill is kidding us. That last is way too disjointed to be real. He’s tiring of the game and wants to be done, but like all satirists he’s found it’s tougher to stop than start. Perhaps he’s so tired of this that he’s offering a prize to the first person who calls Poe?

    I call Poe. Poe!

    ice9

  131. 131
    slag says:

    Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    I’ve thought about these kinds of questions a lot and have come to one possible conclusion: a lot of media elite really aren’t very bright. Jon Stewart’s takedown of CNN hardly applied only to CNN. The inability to follow an argument from a to b to c, etc, is pervasive in our discourse.

    Also, this:

    If you don’t like it, quit reading the Post.

    You know what the logical response is here, right?

    made me laugh out loud.

  132. 132
  133. 133
    Makewi says:

    @slippy:

    You are an asshole. Go fuck yourself.

  134. 134
    slag says:

    Ooooh! So glad I got in this thread just in time for the “I know you are, but what am I?” portion. Always a favorite.

  135. 135
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Church Lady:

    Were you thinking that he’d … agree with you that one of the Post’s reporters’ credibility was compromised by an event that never happened?

    That is not the issue. The Post’s reporters’ credibility was compromised by their intent to participate in a planned event that violated journalistic ethics (assuming such things still exist). The event did not take place, but the compromise of credibility is in their willingness to participate, not the event itself.

  136. 136
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The condensation in Marcus Brauchli’s0response is so thick you could cut it with the whirling roto-blade of a weeping helicopter.

  137. 137
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Makewi: And the civility of discourse on BJ is demonstrated once again.

  138. 138
    Makewi says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    I didn’t start it. But then you probably don’t care about that.

  139. 139
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Makewi:

    I didn’t start it.

    A phrase frequently heard in elementary school. You’re right, I don’t care who started it. If someone addresses you rudely, you look a lot better if you respond civilly and a lot worse if you respond even more rudely. It doesn’t matter who was rude first.

  140. 140
    Makewi says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Of course it matters. I didn’t see you saying the same thing to slippy, so why not?

  141. 141
    LanceThruster says:

    @calipygian:

    Quagmire: Internet pr0n? Why didn’t you guys tell me? I thought the internet was just for geeks and nerds and stuff.

  142. 142
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Makewi: Slippy said:

    OK, (speaks in the tone of voice one must use on a four-year-old)

    That doesn’t appear to me to merit a personally directed F-bomb. Slippy probably underestimated your age. I think you really are in grade school. But that’s OK, if you stay around here you’ll learn to act like a grown-up.

    I hope I don’t sound condensationing.

  143. 143
    Keith G says:

    @Chad N Freude: Darn you, Chad. I was about to tell BOB:

    You are an asshole. Go fuck yourself.

    But you have shamed me into silence.

  144. 144
    TenguPhule says:

    The best social benefit is to keep those actively participating in the economy healthy. This is not effectively happening now.

    Corrected for accuracy.

    Better Bullshit, BOB.

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    Which available measures are you using to make this diagnosis?

    Who are you gonna believe, Makewi or your lying eyes?

  146. 146
    Makewi says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    You are not even honest. Too bad. He’s on your team so you will ignore the part where he called me a stupid asshole for attempting to start a dispute, whatever that means.

    Go Team.

  147. 147
    Makewi says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Hey look, another dickhead!

  148. 148
    LD50 says:

    @Makewi: The martyr routine doesn’t really do it anymore, Make Wee.

    Glad to hear you’re cool with 47 million uninsured, tho. That’s moral high ground, for sure.

    You are not even honest. Too bad. He’s on your team so you will ignore the part where he called me a stupid asshole for attempting to start a dispute, whatever that means.

    No, you were called a stupid asshole for always being a stupid asshole.

  149. 149
    tofubo says:

    Why do media elites react to any and all criticism with “fuck you, peasant”? Why not offer a substantive defense of some kind?

    i think it’s a secondary effect of the bought-and-sold motherfucker-ism going around the village

    the first being “essentially repeating [insert industry here] claims”

  150. 150

    […] Matters’ Jamison Foser didn’t get called on either. While Balloon Juice blogger DougJ got a question in about the salon plan and health care coverage, Brauchli swatted it away as having a "silly […]

  151. 151
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Makewi: @LD50: I think what I said was “Fuck you” was a disproportionate response, and that slinging mud back at a mudslinger doesn’t make one look good. I suppose that could be construed as dishonesty by someone who hadn’t yet learned the social skills of a high school student. If I’m dishonest, then I really ought to be in the financial industry.

  152. 152
    brantl says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Shut up, Bill. You numbnuts.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    Hey look, another dickhead!

    Stop looking in the mirror.

  154. 154
    TenguPhule says:

    You are not even honest. Too bad.

    Oh Sweet Irony of the Day. Welcome back, Darrell.

  155. 155

    […] Ceci Connolly’s “reporting” just didn’t do enough to make AHIP satisfied that WaPo was pushing the AHIP line. At any […]

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  1. […] Ceci Connolly’s “reporting” just didn’t do enough to make AHIP satisfied that WaPo was pushing the AHIP line. At any […]

  2. […] Matters’ Jamison Foser didn’t get called on either. While Balloon Juice blogger DougJ got a question in about the salon plan and health care coverage, Brauchli swatted it away as having a "silly […]

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